Traveling to a new country is exciting, however it can be slightly scary at times. One helpful app to ease your stress is the Smart Traveler app created by The U.S. Department of State. This free app provides easy access to frequently updated official country information, U.S. embassy locations, travel warnings and alerts, maps and more. Users can access entry and exit requirements and safety tips for countries all around the globe, right at their fingertips.
How it works:
When the app is opened, you will be directed to an alphabetical list of countries and areas. Select a country or area you’re interested in or type the name in the search bar at the top of the screen. Don’t have a country in mind? For a bit of fun, shake your device to learn about a country selected at random.
After the country is chosen, you will be directed to a fact sheet. Here you will see the relations between the selected country and United States. You will also find information regarding the United State’s assistance to that country, the country’s bilateral economic relations, membership in international organizations and bilateral representation. At the bottom of the fact sheet are links with additional information about the country. These links include human rights reports, travel and business information, narcotics control reports, history of U.S. relations with that country, and several other useful details that travelers should be aware of.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program:
The STEP icon on the bottom of the screen directs you to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program page. This program enables the State Department to better assist U.S. citizens who are traveling or living abroad during emergencies. These emergencies can range from a lost/stolen passport to a natural disaster or a disturbance in a foreign country. This program can help families reach their loved ones during emergencies.
How can the embassy assist U.S. citizens while they are abroad?
Consular officers assist U.S. citizens who encounter serious legal, medical, or financial difficulties. They provide the names of local attorneys and doctors and can provide loans to Americans in need. In non-emergency situations, consular officers can also help Americans with absentee voting, selective service registration, receiving federal benefits, and filling out U.S. tax forms. They can also issue passports and register American children who are born abroad.
Warnings and Alerts:
The warnings icon on the bottom of the screen displays recent travel warnings. These warnings are issued when long-term conditions make a country dangerous or unstable.
The alerts icon on the bottom of the screen displays recent travel alerts. These alerts are issued when short-term conditions pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens.
Download the Smart Traveler app, free from iTunes, to stay safe while traveling abroad.